The Revivalists w/ Ryan Montbleau @ Red Butte Garden 08.01
Holy cow! It’s windy. Windy but thank goodness it’s also not a triple-digit evening in Salt Lake City and at the Red Butte Amphitheatre. Wandering up the University of Utah campus, arriving at the gates I waited for the gates to actually open with the threat of rain and the promise of music.
Settling in finally, announcements are made, and the first musical guest takes the stage. Ryan Montbleau of Stand readies and begins to play a medley of Americana, bluesy, romantically hinted songs. The five-person ensemble, including a keyboardist, drummer and some guitar backup dished out a relaxed, vibe with a fun mood and even a touch of honky-tonk at times.
Ryan, from Boston, addressed the crowd and professed with a wink that this next song has sold dozens upon dozens of copies. That track was followed by a cover of a reggae piece, a switch into an instrumental-led funk … The list has some variety but remains playful the whole set.
Clouds got darker and rolled in closer as the sun got a little shyer. The Revivalists finally took the stage and, one by one, they stepped into sight with growing “Wooo!”s as they grab their instruments.
David Shaw (singer) takes the mic and throws it right into gear as row after row of audience on the grass got to their feet. Dancing and singing along, fans left their seats entirely to scramble to the front, just to get a bit closer to the stage. Shaw, a bit more energized made his way to the people and handed out first bumps and high fives, running from side to side and even right into the grass pit for maximum engagement with a grateful, thoroughly entertained audience.
With a thunderstorm literally miles away and with quite visible lightning strikes all over the valley below just past the amphitheater, it seems somehow that Red Butte and The Revivalists had a stroke of luck with the clear, cool patch of sky for a great evening filled with music.